Archive - 2015

1
Soul-ish Travel: Recognizing Invitations to Push Beyond Your Borders
2
Can Lack of Consistency Hold You Back in Your Relationship With God?
3
Wanted: Friends Who Judge
4
So… How’d It Go? Sound of the Nations: Battambang, Cambodia
5
Walking In Your Passion While Still Being Useful
6
Confessions of A Bible Student
7
Are You Afraid of Evangelism? I Was Terrified…
8
What is the Discipleship Training School about? Reflecting the Son
9
Life in Muizenberg – Turning Visitors into Locals
10
Seeing from God’s Perspective

Soul-ish Travel: Recognizing Invitations to Push Beyond Your Borders

I’m sorry to say it, but his beard was far more homeless than hipster. I remember sitting there as he scratched at a two-foot long monstrosity of human hair sprouting all over his face, thinking a nest of rats could make a very nice home in it. He tossed long locks over his shoulder and put his arm around his well-styled, Christian girlfriend.

Then, he said God told him to take the Nazirite vow. You know, like Samson, who got Superman-like powers in exchange for perpetually flowing locks. I’d never heard of the modern version before, but apparently this vow was all the rage amongst the super-spiritual where he came from. A bunch of hairy, young men had promised God neither scissors nor razor would come near their bodies for an entire year.

I asked him the deeper meaning behind it all. I can’t recall his specific words, but my ears heard a string of Holy Spirit jargon, making me wonder if HE didn’t even know why he was doing it.

If it’s not obvious already… I’ll admit it now: I judged him.
And, I was wrong.

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Can Lack of Consistency Hold You Back in Your Relationship With God?

Photo Credit: marcovdz via Compfight cc

I could be described by some as a bit of a health nut. I enjoy eating healthily; I am fascinated by diet and nutrition; I love being fit and active. The one thing that holds me back a bit is my lack of consistency. I’ll get into a good exercise regime, and I’ll be feeling so good that I’ll give myself a time out. I’ll take a week off just to relax and let my body rest. But that week can turn into two, and before I know it, a month has gone by, and I need to get fit again. So I am frequently faced with forcing myself back into fitness with the the first run after a holiday, the first gym session after Christmas, the first time in your swimsuit after winter… all those “firsts” that we are tempted to avoid. But we know, deep down inside, that if we avoid it today, we’re just going to have to face it tomorrow, so we may as well face it now.

Yet finding a place of maintenance is so much easier than regular fluctuation.

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Wanted: Friends Who Judge

Photo Credit: Thomas Lefebvre via Unsplash cc

This post was originally published on Lindsey Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.thisisloveactually.com/friends-who-judge/ and is re-posted with permission.

“I don’t want to be judged, I just want to be unconditionally loved.”
“No one wants a judge; everyone wants a friend.”
“Don’t judge me!”

It is universally accepted that true friends don’t judge. They simply love, accept, and support you.

In my early twenties, I was a young, single woman in the new South Africa. I loved the adventure and possibility of living and working in this nation. I was just beginning to form friendships in a diverse community of people. One weekend at the office, only myself and one other lady were there. We were trying to get ahead on work. New students were arriving that week. We discussed tasks and ideas back and forth. We were as different as night and day and so often would not see eye to eye. As the day wore on, I was getting more and more frustrated at her lack of seeing things my way. Eventually, I got so angry I went quiet and ominously brooded around the office, physically present but ignoring her in all other ways. I would show her!

Suddenly, I could hear her chair spin around and her strong voice break the silence. “Lindsey, are you going to talk about this, or do you plan to give me the silent treatment all day? I don’t like tantrums.”

I was shocked. She was direct almost to the point of rudeness. I stumbled over my words. Feebly, I attempted to sort things out… I don’t really remember how it resolved.

Two months later, someone asked me, “Lindsey, who do you hang out with? Who do you consider your friends here in South Africa?” To my surprise, this lady’s name immediately came out of my mouth.

I had other friends who I hung out with more, had more in common with. But this woman spoke truth to me – Truth that often offended me. Sometimes, it wasn’t truth, it was just her opinion, and she would apologise later. Sometimes, it came out a bit rude. But she kept speaking. Of all the people I was around, I knew this one was a friend. She was a friend who was willing to wound me. She was a friend who judged.

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So… How’d It Go? Sound of the Nations: Battambang, Cambodia

Photo Credit: Kenia Godard

It was a sort of divine, grand experiment: Could we bring a distinctly African worship seminar, in both sound and staff, to Cambodia? What would happen when drums and Township Gospel met chimes and Temple Karaoke? Would it all be lost in translation? Would the catch phrase, “From the Nations to the Nations,” survive being put to the test? We had five weeks in the hot season (and let me tell you it was REALLY hot) to find out.

Average Temperature: “Frying Pan”

Tastiest Treat: “Fried Spider”

School Catch Phrase: “A ‘notha Level!”

(There’s something spectacular about Cambodian’s declaring: “It’s A ’notha Level!” complete with a South African accent.)

YWAM Muizenberg, South Africa staff, Kevin and Tonya Stanfield (USA), Billy Edwards, MJ Abrahams (South Africa), Kenia Godard (Columbia), and Fy Rasolofoniaina (Madagascar), joined forces with the incredible YWAM Battambang base to pull off the second Sound of the Nations School in Cambodia (and discover a whole new appreciation for air conditioning). Let me quote a student’s blog to tell you more:

“The purpose of this course is to dig deeper into worship, raise up local worship leaders, and encourage authentic ethnic song writing! There is a distinctive lack of contemporary ethnic Cambodian songs… God made this country’s sound exquisite and totally unique. It would be so sad to miss out on their expressions of worship!” – Caroline Clymer

Writing a song may seem easy to some, but creating unique music requires a freedom of soul and a confidence that goes beyond the skill of one’s voice: An assurance is needed, one that runs deep and quiet, whispering of the unique song that resides within each one of us… and that this song, my song, is worth hearing. It is, in fact, God’s song too.

So did the divine experiment succeed?

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Walking In Your Passion While Still Being Useful

Photo Credit: Michael Quinn via Unsplash cc

This post was originally published on the Chris Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.nosuperheroes.com/walking-in-your-passion/ and is re-posted with permission.

“May I never lose the wonder, oh the wonder of your mercy.”

This line from Matt Redman’s song “Mercy” has the power to bring tears to my eyes.

Grace is my passion.

It is my One Big Thing.
It is what brings tears to my eyes when I see its absence.
It truly is the truth, which gets me out of bed in the morning.

As Andy Stanley said at the recent Catalyst Conference, “It is what I want people to line up to thank me for at the end of my life.”

I am looking for a larger portion of the opportunities I say “yes” for, to flow through the lens of grace.

“Can I make an impact (in my passion) in this area?”

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Confessions of A Bible Student

Photo Credit: Kjersti Brennsaeter via pixabay cc

The School of Biblical Studies’ students completed their intensive, nine months of study and graduated this week here at YWAM Muizenberg. One student Sydney gives her honest and encouraging outlook as her view of the Bible changed from boring and insignificant to essential to knowing God and living life. I hope you are inspired that the Bible is essential to your God-filled life!

“The B. I. B. L. E. Yes, that’s the book for me…” Yeah, yeah, I had heard it since Sunday school – I should read the Bible. Call me a “bad Christian,” but if I was honest nothing, seemed more painstaking.

With that, here are the confessions of a Bible student:

  1. For most of my life, reading the Bible consisted of opening it at random, slapping my finger on the page, and reading whatever verse I landed on.
  2. I thought the Bible was boring. It only seemed somewhat relevant when the pastor on stage came up with a witty presentation.
  3. Frankly, the Bible was too overwhelming, and I thought I would never be able to make sense of that dusty piece of literature for myself.

That was until I decided to embark on a journey. A journey to see what would happen if I read the Bible in its entirely. What would it reveal about God? How could 66 books of ancient literature, written in three different languages, over the course of 1,500 years, actually apply to my life today? Little did I know but this quest would change the course of my life forever.

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Are You Afraid of Evangelism? I Was Terrified…

Photo Credit: Cayla Bertelsen

This post was originally published on the Cayla Bertelsen’s blog at http://caylabertelsen.blogspot.com/2015/06/evangelism.html and is re-posted with permission.

When I hear the word “evangelism,” my heart starts racing. I don’t know about you, but the thought of walking up to a complete stranger and asking them about the status of their relationship with God has always terrified me. People’s stories make it sound easy (well, sometimes…), and then I wonder what is wrong with me? But, when the call comes at the end of the sermon for me to “go into all the world and preach the good news,” suddenly things begin to look very complicated.

Now, I want you to know that I am no expert in evangelism. I am not descended from Billy Graham. I am no Amy Semple McPherson. However, the Holy Spirit does live inside of me, and this makes all of the difference.

This morning, while I was spending time with Jesus, He reminded me of two times last summer when I was able to share my faith with a total stranger. Both of these were unplanned meetings – but they have really changed the way I think about evangelism. I am not so scared of it anymore. I hope that after you have heard them, “evangelism” might not sound like such a scary word to you either.

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What is the Discipleship Training School about? Reflecting the Son

Photo Credit: Michael and Stephanie Chesterman

Michael and Stephanie Chesterman are leading the upcoming Discipleship Training School (DTS) at YWAM Muizenberg, which begins June 22nd. Recently, I heard Michael speak about the DTS. I was so moved by his passion for the school as he shared how God will transform the students’ lives and work through them to impact the nations! So if you’re wondering about DTS or doing a DTS at YWAM Muizenberg, here’s a little nugget, from this school’s leaders Michael and Stephanie, of what God has in store for you during the Reflecting the Son DTS!

As Christians, we are called to be ambassadors for Christ. We are to reflect what Christ has done for us and in us to those around us. Christ set an example for the disciples, and so we are to be an example to the world. Paul says that we are to always have a testimony. It is said that actions speak louder than words. Does the way we live our lives give an accurate testimony of what God has done in and for us?

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Life in Muizenberg – Turning Visitors into Locals

Photo Credit: Kenny Hall via instagram @lovemuiz

There are many facets to being a part of Youth With A Mission in Muizenberg, South Africa, a beautiful, southern suburb of Cape Town. As students in our schools or on staff with local ministries here, we may study and minister A Lot of the time. But another important aspect to living and making home is for family and friendships, rest and rejuvenation; so let’s rejoice in Muizenberg as a blessing and displaying God’s beauty in so many ways. Here’s to a little taste of Muizenberg, which Kenny brings so well in this post. You may become a local too. (Check out more breathtaking photos of Muizenberg on instagram @lovemuiz.)

Muizenberg, perhaps more than any other place I’ve been in the world, is known for turning visitors into locals. With its rich history dating back to the 1740’s, the streets and walls of Muizenberg are filled with stories, and they have a way of captivating. There’s also no doubt that Muizenberg attracts a very diverse crowd of people.

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Seeing from God’s Perspective

Photo Credit: Kathy Gooch

This post was originally published on the Kathy Gooch’s blog at http://scribeofhisheart.blogspot.com/2014/03/seeing-from-gods-perspective.html and is re-posted with permission.

As a full-time missionary for the past 18 years and before that taking short-term missions trips, I’ve had the privilege of traveling all over the world. I’ve seen firsthand (although not climbed!) many mountain ranges – some of the better known ones being the Himalayas, the Alps, the Rockies, the East African Highlands, and the Andes. I’ve even seen the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro from the airplane. All have been spectacular sightings that have been kept as snapshots in my memory bank.

I moved from Zimbabwe to Cape Town in 2009. In the suburb I live in, I can walk out my front door and see the ocean, and I can walk out my back door and see the mountains. More spectacular sightings. As I’m not so partial to the ocean, I’ve kept it as a spectacular sighting. For some reason, I’ve been drawn to the mountains and haven’t been satisfied leaving them as mere sightings. As intimidating as they are, I’ve wanted to experience them. The only way one can truly experience these mountains is to go through the grueling process of climbing them!

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